Community/Field Advocacy


New Dramatists’ broadest definition of service extends to our engagement in the field as an advocate for our residents, and our ongoing participation in field-wide conversations about playwrights and playwriting. It also includes our support of our neighborhood of West 44th Street and Hell’s Kitchen.

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The West 44th Street Better Block Association Holiday Party at New Dramatists.
The West 44th Street Better Block Association Holiday Party at New Dramatists.

Michaela O’Harra Play Library

New Dramatists maintains one of the few play manuscript libraries in existence that is publically accessible and provides for the copying of non-published manuscripts (with a small donation fee to cover copy costs). Named for our organization founder, playwright Michaela O’Harra, our library houses hundreds of manuscripts by our 50 resident playwrights and 600 alumni, and provides a space for the public to encounter new work. With the majority of our resident writers’ plays being unpublished, in many cases the New Dramatists reading library is one of the only places where a producer, an actor or a theatre lover can review new works on the page. Resident writers catalog the plays they’d like publicly available for easy online searches and on-site review. Typically the Library is open from 10am – 6pm, Monday through Friday.

Online Script Catalog

New Dramatists maintains on its website a Script Catalog of all resident writer plays that are publicly available for review. The Catalog allows searchers to review a script synopsis and other information. Script data is contained within each resident writer’s online page on our website. Writers have complete control over their catalog entries and may add, edit or delete data as they choose.

Field-wide Playwright Advocacy

New Dramatists is an active field advocate for our resident writers. Targeted community writer briefs are sent to 400 theatre professionals monthly, and our monthly email News and Events bulletin currently reaches nearly 5,000 subscribers interested in new theatre. Programming staff work with resident writers to reach out to specific professionals for particular projects, and as all our of our open events are free of charge, New Dramatists provides free access to staged readings of new works to over 5,000 people each year.

Field Service and Support Meetings

Periodically, New Dramatists hosts or programs field-wide meetings and events, to support discussions of import. We also host visits and tours of our building, to promote our mission and the work of playwrights within the field. In 2015-16, New Dramatists hosted three of these meetings, from visits by playwriting classes and theater companies to HowlRound's Trans Arts Convening.

For more information about individual meetings, please review our Playwright Support Activity Report.

Neighborhood Community Meetings

New Dramatists is a committed member of our community, serving as the meeting place for the West 44th Street Better Block Association for decades. We hosted 12 Block Association meetings during 2015-16, including the annual West 44th Street Block Association Holiday Party on December 13, 2015.